How does a truck go from an idea to the road?

Friday, 30 September 2016

How does a truck go from an idea to the road?

If you get excited by trucks, you’d probably love to have Daniel Petrovski’s job at Hino. He is the Manager of Product Strategy and is responsible for the development and testing of all trucks coming to the Australian market and ensuring that the trucks Hino build for Australian customers fulfill the promise of providing true transport solutions that meet the customer’s needs.  Basically he gets paid to talk to customers, field-test Hino trucks, rate their performance and develop the ultimate Model line-up that is set to become the envy of all competition.

But what does it mean to lead the mammoth undertaking; we spoke to Daniel to discover the inspiring process of introducing a Hino truck into the Australian market.

From idea to reality

“There’s a lot that goes on from product inception to wheels on the ground,” Daniel explains. “We kick things off by flying a team of Hino product engineers from Japan and conducting customer focus sessions where we listen to what Australian customers require from their trucks. We usually spend two to three weeks on the road and visit at least 40-50 customers, we talk to them about their business needs, the weight and bulk they expect to carry with their trucks, where, how far they usually travel on a shift, how often they may use a PTO and all manner of basic truck utilisation. We combine this with Australian truck market sales data to see where the trends are heading in regards to horsepower, suspension, transmission, safety, comfort and performance. “We then have our Hino planning sessions where the model concepts are developed that lead to the end product”

The ultimate goal is to design a truck that can be tailored to suit as many of our customer’s applications as possible and from a Hino global perspective meeting the end customers’ needs is paramount to the design of our vehicles. “Our goals are to deliver a product that carries clear safety benefits, is innovative and delivers on our Hino QDR (Quality, Durability and reliability) promise.” he says. “We work very closely with Japan in developing and testing our vehicles and to make sure they are tailored for Australian road conditions.”

From Japan to the Outback

“Our R&D investment in Japan is massive and it’s where the magic happens, once prototype vehicle are built they go through initial laboratory tests, this is followed by test track trials across various test track locations in Japan,” Daniel explains. “Once the test track trials are successfully completed we then move onto testing the trucks here in Australia where we run the trucks through rigorous trials and in field customer testing programs.”

Hino trucks are driven 24/7 for months and years, both in Japan and on Australian roads before we launch to the market. We test some models in Australia`s hardest applications over multiple years to ensure they can withstand Australia’s demanding conditions and Let’s face it: if a truck can last in Australia`s toughest applications, then it can last anywhere in the world.”

From factories to feats

For a guy who seems like he never runs out of steam, he must have that one thing that he considers his pride and joy.

“To date, the delivery of the high-horsepower 300 Series model to the Australian market has been the greatest achievement with Hino,” Daniel muses. “No other truck company has come close to building a light duty truck as good as it is,  and over the next few years Hino will keep delivering more new models to the Australian market across the entire range that will continue to exceed our customers’ expectations”.

 

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